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Thursday, April 13, 2023
April 13, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:44 PM :: 3001 Views

Cockfighting Guam Officer Reinstated With Back Pay

Retaliation: Rep Hussey-Burdick Tried to Get Fellow Representatives Arrested for DUI after Drunken Party at Legislature

CB: … The Hawaii House briefly considered expelling one of its members last month after she conspired with midwife activists to have several of her colleagues — including the House speaker — arrested for DUI after they killed the controversial midwife bill she had sponsored.

(Take Notes: You can do this too.)

The incident involving Rep. Natalia Hussey-Burdick happened at a pau hana in the speaker’s office while activists were waiting in the Capitol’s basement parking garage to call the police when lawmakers got into their cars to drive home, numerous lawmakers and others familiar with the situation told Civil Beat.

(NOTE: Keep in mind that this would work only if the legislators were actually drunk.  You need to find out when the next ‘pau hana’ is.)

The night was Friday, March 3, the first “decking” deadline for bills to advance in session. On hand for the pau hana were most of the 45 members of the House Democratic caucus, according to people in the room and others who heard later about the gathering.

(NOTE: This was kept quiet for 5 weeks.)

As the pau hana was winding down, according to several sources, Hussey-Burdick took pictures of members walking (stumbling?) to their cars and texted an acquaintance in law enforcement and asked them to come to the Capitol. Midwife activists also followed at least one member to their car….

(QUESTION: Did HPD come out in response to this call?  When you do it, just call 911.  Don’t look for a back-channel.)

The following Tuesday, when the caucus met privately before the “first crossover” deadline, Hussey-Burdick apologized to her colleagues but was vague on the reasons for offering an apology…

House leadership had discussions about whether to expel Hussey-Burdick, a freshmen lawmaker representing Kailua and part of Kaneohe Bay. That did not happen, and she remains vice chair of the House Tourism Committee.

But she has been ostracized by her colleagues including the progressive members she aligned with. Efforts are already underway to find a replacement for her should she resign or run for reelection next year ….

House Bill 955, introduced by Hussey-Burdick, failed to get a hearing in Rep. Kyle Yamashita’s House Finance Committee despite passing two earlier committees. HB 955 would have allowed unlicensed birth workers to continue offering their services in Hawaii on a permanent basis. Instead, that right will end July 1….

But the incident involving Hussey-Burdick has cast a much different cloud over the Capitol, with some lawmakers calling her behavior and reactions by leadership disturbing and shameful. One lawmaker called it “a complete disaster” and said it disrupted an otherwise productive session…

(NOTE: This would work best if the drunks were followed and videotaped while weaving in traffic while you, the ‘worried’ motorist, calls police.  Hussey-Burdick failed but YOU can improve on her technique.  Try getting one.  Then get another.  There are 76.  Remember to sound worried, not thrilled.)

2022: How Many Legislators Were Partying With Sharon Har During COVID Shutdown?

read … The Hawaii State Capitol Is Buzzing About What Happened When A Freshman Lawmaker Got Angry After Her Bill Died

Kouchi is a Sad Little Punk

CB: … some of this misdirection comes from legislators themselves, like Senate President Ron Kouchi’s bully-boast about the good old days when men were men and picked on the weak.

In his President of the Senate remarks at the opening of the 2016 legislative session Kouchi said a fellow legislator “impressed me as the kind of guy I would’ve taken lunch money from when we were in high school.”

The first thing to say about his comment is how geezer it is. Acne-macho, bully-bragging about acne-macho high school days. So sad….   

read … Bullies Can Only Bully Because The Legislature Encourages It

Government wants 30-month sentence for Lying ILWU Exec

SA: … The 64-year-old former executive officer of the Hawaii Longshore Division should spend the next 30 months in federal prison and pay a $150,000 fine after he was found guilty of falsifying records and embezzlement that cost his union $95,000, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Charles Kimo Brown was found guilty Nov. 1 in a nonjury trial of two counts of falsification of financial records of a labor union and two counts of embezzlement of labor union funds. At his sentencing, scheduled for today, he will be asking U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi to sentence him to probation and fine him $10,000.

Kobayashi’s court found and concluded that in 2014 on April 11 and 18, Brown turned in wage vouchers to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 241, Hawaii Longshore Workers Division, that “contained false entries” made willfully by Brown and that he “knowingly embezzled or converted the Longshore Division’s funds” of its money, according to federal court records.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marshall H. Silverberg, in a sentencing memorandum filed April 3, noted that the government did not ask for more federal prison time, even though Brown “committed at least six different acts of perjury when testifying — both on direct examination and during his cross-examination.”

According to the government, the testimony included falsehoods about Brown’s employer’s collective bargaining agreement, lost time he was entitled to and overtime hours.

“This is not a case where a defendant committed a crime, pleaded guilty, or merely put the government to its burden of proof at trial. Rather, this is a case where the defendant repeatedly lied during his trial testimony. Pattern of lying means a downward variance simply is not warranted,” wrote Silverberg. “Indeed, one could practice in this court for more than 40 years and not witness a defendant who kept lying so extensively after being confronted with contrary evidence.”

From December 2009 through April 2014, Brown was an executive officer of the Hawaii Longshore Division, an autonomous division of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142. In 2014, Brown was employed at McCabe Renny &Hamilton Co., Ltd. as a machine operator….

The payments in the complaint were known as “lost time wages” and Brown, who worked the waterfront for 33 years as a crane operator and a machine operator, “consistently inflated his lost time hours on the weekly vouchers that he signed and submitted for payment from the Longshore Division.”

The prosecution relied on the help of “two very competent case agents, who knew the vouchers, the McCabe logbook, and the McCabe pay slips in unusual detail” that allowed them to confront Brown as he lied by changing his trial testimony to try and adapt to “new conflicting evidence.”

Brown owns three residences, has a net worth of roughly $900,000, and a monthly cash flow of about $4,000 and can afford the $150,000 fine, an increase from the $100,000 recommended by the probation office, Silverberg wrote….

read … Government wants 30-month sentence for ex-union officer

Kaua‘i council chair plans property tax breaks

TGI: … Each year, Kaua‘i puts tens of millions of dollars into its reserve fund to be used for unanticipated costs during emergencies.

At a Wednesday, April 12, 2023 meeting of the Kaua‘i County Council, Chair Mel Rapozo proposed to reduce the amount allocated to that fund in order to pursue a series of tax breaks for property owners.

Under his plan — a draft of which was introduced in Resolution No. 2023-37 — the county would allocate 27 percent of the previous year’s general fund revenues toward the reserve fund instead of the 30 percent that it traditionally puts aside.

Rapozo proposed that the extra funds could be used to reduce taxes on commercial, industrial, agricultural, conservation and commercial-home-use classes by 10 percent each — while cutting the homestead tax rate by 5 percent (in addition to a proposed 10 percent cut included in the mayor’s budget). The homestead tax class applies to most local homeowners’ primary residences.

Kaua‘i would free up an estimated $5.67 million in reserve fund money from the plan, while losing $4.69 million in tax revenue, leaving a surplus of about $1 million.

Rapozo cited rising property values as a primary reason to pursue the tax cuts. Total revenues are expected to increase 16 percent this fiscal year as compared to last year, largely a result of increasing property values.

“We’ve got to start looking at property tax relief because we’re in this financial position because of property taxpayers,” said Rapozo.

read … Kaua‘i council chair plans to fund tax breaks with reserves

Federal grand jury conducting criminal probe into Red Hill fuel spills

HNN: … A federal grand jury is conducting a criminal investigation into the Red Hill fuel spills that sickened thousands of Hawaii families.

Hawaii News Now has learned that a number of military and civilian officials have been subpoenaed in recent months to testify about the 2021 spills, which contaminated the drinking water of more than 90,000 military personnel and civilians….

Right now, it’s unclear who the grand jury is targeting and what charges are being pursued.

An attorney with the Sierra Club of Hawaii said a criminal investigation will bring accountability to the individuals who caused the spills….

read … Federal grand jury conducting criminal probe into Red Hill fuel spills

Dock ‘line-handling’ is labor work issue, not for legislators

SA: … Two companion bills (House Bill 714/Senate Bill 824) are moving through the Hawaii Legislature proposing to change the labor union jurisdiction in Hawaii for what is known as marine “line-handling.”

The opposing factions are: the Hawaii tug and barge operators and their customers who oppose the change; versus the islands’ stevedores represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Workers Union (ILWU) who support it.

Line-handling is the mooring of vessels to a pier (tie-up) and the reverse unmooring (let-go).

For 100 years, Hawaii tug crews have handled the mooring lines of the barges they are towing regardless of the barge size and type and nature of the trade.

All the Hawaii trade operators of ocean towing tugs submitted testimony to the Legislature opposing the proposed legislation . . .

Also opposing are the merchant cargo owners (known as shippers) that use specialized barges to transport bulk commodities from Oahu to the neighbor islands.

In the Hawaii trade, virtually all crewmembers on the ocean towing and harbor assist tugs belong to the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific (IBU), which is the Marine Division of the ILWU.

Therefore, this isn’t a jurisdictional issue between two different labor unions.

Enactment of the legislation would essentially result in state-imposed featherbedding.

This legislation is an unwarranted intervention into what is a labor jurisdictional issue of the kind that has traditionally been dealt with in negotiations between management and labor, and should be left to that process….

SA Editorial: Mooring line bill would raise costs

read … Dock ‘line-handling’ is labor work issue, not for legislators

Judge: Miske Lawyer can keep Representing Donna Leong

CB: … Tommy Otake, a prominent Honolulu defense attorney, can continue representing a former city official under indictment despite an effort by federal prosecutors to have him removed from the case, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

Donna Leong, Honolulu’s former corporation counsel, is fighting federal charges that she conspired with two others to improperly grant a $250,000 severance payment to former police chief Louis Kealoha. She hired attorneys Lynn Panagakos and Otake to defend her.

But federal prosecutors, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Wheat, took issue with Otake, who, until recently, was a law partner to a witness in the case. That witness, Loretta Sheehan, was a Honolulu police commissioner at the time of Kealoha’s payout.

Leong’s trial, alongside former managing director Roy Amemiya and former police commission chair Max Sword, is scheduled for June 26.

Earlier this year, federal prosecutors attempted to remove Otake from another case involving accused Honolulu crime boss Michael Miske because of alleged conflicts of interest. A federal judge later said he could stay on Miske’s defense team, but Otake had already withdrawn….

2020: Miske Lawyer Behind Campaign to Unseat OHA Trustee Keli’i Akina

read … Indicted Honolulu Official Can Keep Her Lawyer, Judge Rules

Attorney for Miske co-defendant removed due to law license suspension

ILind: … On February 9, 2023, Honolulu attorney John Schum, the court-appointed attorney representing Delia Fabro-Miske, 28, was removed from the case by order of Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield, effective immediately. Schum had been appointed by the court in October 2021. The reason for Schum’s removal was not indicated in the court record.

It now appears likely his removal was related to a complaint in California that resulted in Schum’s one-year suspension from the practice of law in that state, where he has been licensed since 1992. All but the first 60-days of the suspension was “stayed” or deferred, with Schum serving the next 10 months on a probationary status. His license will be restored as long as he complies with several basic conditions….

The California discipline stems from a 2018 incident in which Schum telephoned Comerica Bank and impersonated a man he was having personal “issues” with. While posing as the man, he directed the bank to cancel “his” bank account and credit card.

The victim was on a business trip to New York when he tried to use the credit card to pay for taxi fare and a hotel bill, leading to the discovery that someone used personal information, including his social security number and telephone number, to cancel the accounts.

Schum admitted to the facts as presented, and further acknowledged a “concerted, intentional and dishonest effort to impersonate” the victim and cancel his “personal and business accounts with Comerica.”…

Fabro-Miske is now represented by veteran California attorney Marcia Morrissey, and co-counsel Donovan Odo….

read … Attorney for Miske co-defendant removed due to law license suspension

Hawaii SPED teacher charged with sexually assaulting student

HNN: ...  A Hawaii public school teacher has been placed on leave after being charged with sexually assaulting a student.

HPD arrested 44-year-old Sanoe Kalahiki, a special education teacher at Castle High School, on Monday and subsequently charged him with fourth-degree sex assault.

The school sent a letter home to parents informing them of an ongoing investigation, but did not provide further details.

The Department of Education confirms Kalahiki has worked with the DOE since 2017.

Kalahiki was free after posting $100 bail….

read … Hawaii SPED teacher charged with sexually assaulting student

Sara Yara’s family prepares lawsuit against prosecutor’s office

KHON: … Records show that he has more than 160 traffic violations, including several instances of driving without a license. The attorney for Yara’s family said he’s looking into whether the prosecutor’s office did enough to put the suspect behind bars when he appeared in court for those violations.

“To simply say, we have too many cases in traffic court so let’s offer him a fine and don’t do it again. If that’s the way they handled revoked and suspended for this guy again and again and again, I think maybe we need to sue them,” said attorney Michael Green.

Green said some of the violations could have allowed the judge to sentence the suspect to a year in jail. And, a lawsuit like this sends a strong message against habitual offenders.

“We’re trying to decide that we can make enough of a statement; so, there are teeth in the laws and the prosecutor’s office doesn’t let this kind of person slip between the cracks. And, if we can do that, we want to do that,” said Green….

HNN: Mom of teen killed while walking to school prepares suit in bid to strengthen traffic laws

read … Sara Yara’s family prepares lawsuit against prosecutor’s office

37-Time Loser arrested for bringing gun, drugs to Honolulu court is released ‘pending investigation’

SA: … A (five time) convicted felon with 37 prior arrests and citations who was arrested after he allegedly brought a ghost gun and drug paraphernalia to Circuit Court in Honolulu (while still on probation) Tuesday morning was released pending investigation, according to the state Department of the Attorney General.

The AG’s office declined to comment about why Jordan Mineshima Jr., 33, was released ‘pending investigation’ after he was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of weapons and ammunition violations, including no permit to carry weapon, being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon, and third-degree promoting a dangerous drug….

(This is how soft-on-crime Hawaii prosecutes gun crimes.  BTW Mineshima is also a ‘traffic scofflaw’.)

read … Man arrested for bringing gun, drugs to Honolulu court is released

Catch and Release: 700 arrests made in Waikiki but habitual criminals go right back to street

KITV: … Over the past six months, Honolulu police have made over 700 arrests in Waikiki, but residents say there's still much more that needs to be done.

"So a lot of the chronic offenders, if you will, have been taken off the street, although we continue to get violations of the geographic restriction," said Waikiki Improvement Association President Rick Egged.

More than 100 geographic restrictions are in place, banning repeat offenders from returning to the areas where they commit crimes. But many of those habitual criminals are returning to Waikiki -- without facing jail time….

read … More arrests being made in Waikiki to get habitual criminals off the street, but many are still violating geographic restrictions

Oahu inmate’s suicide came after several safety warnings from attorney, prosecutor 

KHON: … Jimuel Gatioan was found hanging in his cell at the Oahu Community Correctional Center on March 28.

His death came one week after both his defense attorney ― Jonathan Burge ― and the deputy prosecutor on his assault case ― Benjamin Rose ― warned the jail that Gatioan was suicidal.

Burge said he and Rose called OCCC on March 21 asking that Gatioan be put on suicide watch after his wife reported to both of them that the 49-year old was threatening to kill himself.

Gatioan had been arrested for domestic abuse after his wife was stabbed with a screwdriver on Feb. 20.

“I called OCCC, talked to their central receiving,” Burge said, who added the jail employee told him he would pass on the information to the sergeant at Gatioan’s module….

Background:  Honolulu Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to Gulick Avenue on the morning of Feb. 20. Paramedics treated a woman, 46, who sustained multiple puncture wounds to her upper body.  She was taken in serious condition to a hospital.

read … ‘Tragic’: Oahu inmate’s suicide came after several safety warnings from attorney, prosecutor 

Legislative Agenda: 



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